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Greens welcome Lobbying Disclosure Bill extension

14 November 2012

Greens welcome Lobbying Disclosure Bill extension

The Green Party is pleased that the Government Administration Committee will take extra time to carefully consider the Lobbying Disclosure Bill.

“I’m delighted that the committee will take the time to consider the important issue of lobbying transparency in more depth,” the Bill’s sponsor Green Party open government spokesperson Holly Walker said today.

“The public deserves to know who is lobbying public office holders about what, so it’s great that the committee will work constructively towards this,” said Ms Walker.

The committee has been granted a six month extension until July next year before reporting the Bill back to the House. This extension is to allow Ms Walker to develop further options for the committee’s consideration, taking into account the issues raised in submissions.

“This extension means the committee can really give the Bill the time it deserves to ensure that the lobbying disclosure regime is the best it can be,” said Ms Walker.

“A lobbying disclosure regime is an important step towards more open government and this Bill gives us an opportunity to create best practice in New Zealand.

“There is a high level of support from submitters and the public for the principle of greater transparency about lobbying activity.

“At the same time, it’s also clear that the Bill needs to ensure that any lobbying disclosure regime balances the important principles of openness and transparency with the need to be practical and workable.

“I will prepare some options for the committee to consider to ensure we work towards a lobbying disclosure regime appropriate for New Zealand’s political context.

“Any lobbying disclosure regime for New Zealand should have the full trust and confidence of the public, lobbyists and MPs from across the political spectrum.

“The Bill received unanimous support from all parties in Parliament at the first reading, and I am confident that the end result of the select committee process will be a lobbying disclosure regime that reflects this support.

“The Green Party has championed honest politics in New Zealand for many years. We’re committed to more open government, and greater transparency about political lobbying is an important step in this direction.”

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